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How much room to still have grass?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stamper, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Stamper

    Stamper Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    How much room (per chicken) would you need to be able to maintain grass in the pen? It seems to me that they can really devastate a pretty large area but I don't know how large?

    Does anyone have an enclosed chicken area that is able to maintain grass?


  2. CityFolk

    CityFolk In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    I think if your entire yard is the run you could maintain grass, but from what I read in these forums, they eat anything green in the run.
  3. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    I think I read 75 square feet per chicken.
    You'd probably want to spread lime occasionally though.
  4. Andora

    Andora Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Mine is about 40x50 feet with 10 chickens in there, and so far after about two months there is still plenty of grass. They did eat all of the Irises, Lillies, Tulips, and new budding leaves on the bushes, however.
  5. Stamper

    Stamper Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Quote:Wow, that's encouraging to hear. I wonder how long it will last...
  6. Andora

    Andora Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Hopefully forever or my husband will kill me. [​IMG]

    I'll keep you updated...

    But seriously, so far they have just eaten the grass short and they haven't created any bald spots. They like to chill up under the bushes that are in there.
  7. New2Peeps

    New2Peeps Songster

    May 11, 2008
    My 4 girls have a 50 x 50 area and about half of it is eaten down to 1/8 nubs. The rest of the yard is about 1/2 inch tall, but they are grazing machines. And one area about 10 x 10 has been excavated---it is their dustbathing area and they have 8 to 10 inch potholes all over it. The grass on the other side of their pen is about 4 inches tall already [​IMG]

  8. howtogrowanegg

    howtogrowanegg In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    I've been trying to research this too and seen it said many times that 10 square feet per bird is good. But ... I think that is for anyone who uses a tractor and can move it on a daily basis.

    There are two sources that say that is not good enough for a more permanent free range scenario ...

    Professor Chicken recommends at least 145.2 square feet per bird.

    Robert Plamondon thinks that 435.6 square feet per chicken is still not enough.

    I'm going to try the 145.2 sq ft per bird and see how that goes this summer with our first ever flock. I'm figuring on a 66' x 66' pen.

  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don't have any advice on required sizes as I don't know. There are two separate mechanisms at work killing the green stuff however. First the chickens eat and scratch, killing the grass. They start eating and scratching as soon as they come out of the coop, so the area near the coop will go first. If they have sufficient room, they may not kill everything in their reach, but I don't know what enough is.

    The second mechanism to kill grass is that they poop a lot. The poop will build to where nothing can grow. They start pooping as soon as they get out of the coop. (They poop a lot in the coop too.) So the area right around the coop eventually gets a build-up of poop, even if they have a lot of area to range in.

    Even if you have no fences to contain them, expect to eventually have some bare areas around the coop.
  10. Stamper

    Stamper Songster

    Apr 1, 2009


    How may chickens will you have in your 66'x66' pen?

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